Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The umpire diaries

To ensure fairness during the 33rd America’s Cup, the skilled positioning of the on-the-water umpires will be supremely tested during this high speed event. For the four person International Umpire Team officiating the 33rd America’s Cup - Bill Edgerton (Great Britain), Chief Umpire; Gerard Bosse (France); John Standley (Australia); and Roger Wood (New Zealand) - past lessons will help to determine where the Umpires should station themselves… and hopefully avoid getting too close.

Dyer Jones, Regatta Director during the 32nd America's Cup, shares this story from the Umpire diaries: “John Standley and Gerard Bosse are the two Umpires that still hold the ‘Monkey’. The monkey is a stuffed animal (looks like Curious George), awarded to the Umpire(s) that pull(s) the biggest operator error during competition. They were umpiring together during one of the Acts leading up to the 32nd America’s Cup when LUNA ROSSA went around a leeward mark trailing a spinnaker sheet. Following closely in the Umpire Boat, they fouled the trailing sheet in their prop and pulled the spinnaker out of the yacht. Talk about a surprised foredeck crew and a ‘chase boat’ drop.

“They've been trying to get the ‘monkey off their back’ for several years now. I mean literally - they had to carry it on the Umpire Boat when they umpired together, and had to bring it to all of the dinners we had for the race officials - always in hopes that someone else would have earned it.”According to Standley, he has taken full responsibility for the monkey. “Both Gerard and I were together, but it was my role to position the boat, and while we couldn’t see the trailing sheet, I have accepted the monkey as my own.”

On anointing the next recipient of the monkey, Standley comments, “As the holder of the monkey, it is now for me to award it for an incident that I deem worthy.” Given the lack of opportunities thus far in the 33rd Match, Standley is looking wise in his decision to leave the monkey home in Perth.

The AC 33 Umpire Team: Bill Edgerton (GBR), John Standley (AUS), Roger Wood (NZL), Gerard Bosse (FRA). Photo courtesy of Look to Windward.

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At 11:23 AM, Blogger Tillerman said...

This is the best post I have read yet about AC33. How do you do it?

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely the monkey should be true and fully given to Harold Bennett for the incomprehensible decision not to race on Wednesday.

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Pat said...

Nah, the monkey is for umpire errors of commission as it were, not for mere timidity or taking "guidance" from upstairs.

But maybe there should be a special award for that -- the PRO's comfy whoopee cushion.


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